Botanikai Közlemények

  Journal of the Botanical Section of the Hungarian Biological Society

< 2016

Botanikai Közlemények 103(1): 119–134 (2016)
DOI: 10.17716/BotKozlem.2016.103.1.119


 Botanical, phytochemical and pharmaceutical characters of Fallopia species adventive in Hungary



1Institute of Pharmacognosy, University of Pécs, H–7624 Pécs, Rókus u. 2.

2Department of Natural History, Savaria Museum, H–9701 Szombathely, Kisfaludy S. u. 9.

3Institute of Biology, University of Pécs, H–7624 Pécs, Ifjúság u. 6.



Accepted: 18 January 2016

 Keywords: ethnobotany, Fallopia, histology, morphology, phytochemistry, taxonomy


Fallopia species originate from Asia, but nowadays they are spreading in many areas of the world. In Europe, taxa have been planted in the 19th century as ornamental plants. Among the main phytochemical compounds, tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, stibenes (e.g. resveratrol) and anthraquinones (e.g. emodin) can be highlighted, which have several physiological and therapeutical effects, as well. In the traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine, the rhizome of some species is used for hepatitis, high blood pressure, skin injuries and bleeding. Recently, several studies have been carried out on the antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effect of the plants. In addition, preliminary pharmacological data are available on their effect against high cholesterol level and for some cancer types, as well. Some species have metal-binding property and allelopathic effect, while other taxa are studied for their agricultural production to use as fodder. The possible role of Fallopia species as energy plants is based on their high heating value. These results suggest further ecological, phytochemical and pharmacological studies in the future, which draw the attention for the various potential uses of these plants. This work summarizes the botanical (incl. morphological, histological, phytochemical and medicinal), as well as the historical and ethnobotanical features of Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis and their hybrid F. × bohemica.

Full text 


Aguilera A. G., Alpert P., Dukes J. S., Harrington R. 2010: Impacts of the invasive plant Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decr. on plant communities and ecosystem processes. Biological Invasions 12(5): 12431252.

Bailey J. P. 2003: Japanese knotweed s.l. at home and abroad. In: Child L., Brock J., Brundu G., Prach K., Pyšek P., Wade P. M., Williamson M. (eds.) Plant invasions: Species ecology and ecosystem management. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp. 183–196.

Bailey J., Wisskirchen R. 2006: The distribution and origins of Fallopia ×bohemica (Polygonaceae) in Europe. Nordic Journal of Botany 24(2): 173–200.

Balogh L. 2004: Japánkeserűfű-fajok (Fallopia sectio Reynoutria). In: Mihály B., Botta-Dukát Z. (szerk.) Biológiai inváziók Magyarországon: Özönnövények. A KvVM Természetvédelmi Hivatalának tanulmánykötetei 9, Természetbúvár Alapítvány Kiadó, Budapest, pp. 207–253.

Balogh L. 2008: Japanese, giant and Bohemian knotweed (Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decr., F. sachalinensis (Frdr. Schmidt) Ronse Decr. and F. ×bohemica (Chrtek et Chrtková) J. P. Bailey). In: Botta-Dukát Z., Balogh L. (eds.) The most important invasive plants in Hungary. Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Ecology and Botany, Vácrátót, pp. 13–33.

Balogh L. 2009: Fallopia Adans. (s. l.) [incl. Bilderdykia Dumort., Reynoutria Houtt., Polygonum sect. Tiniaria Meissner et Pleuropterus (Turcz.) Benth.] – Keserűfű (p. p.), óriáskeserűfű. In: Király G. (szerk.) Új magyar füvészkönyv. Magyarország hajtásos növényei. Határozókulcsok. Aggteleki Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság, Jósvafő, pp. 112–113.

Balogh L. 2012: Cseh óriáskeserűfű (Fallopia ×bohemica (Chrtek & Chrtková) J. P. Bailey), japán óriáskeserűfű (Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decr.), szahalini óriáskeserűfű (Fallopia sachalinensis (F. Schm.) Ronse Decr.). In: Csiszár Á. (szerk) Inváziós növényfajok Magyarországon. Nyugat-magyarországi Egyetem Kiadó, Sopron, pp. 48–55.

Barney J. N., Tharayil N., DiTommaso A., Bhowmik P. C. 2006: The biology of invasive alien plants in Canada. 5. Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. & Zucc. [= Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decr.]. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 86(3): 887–905.

Beerling D. J., Bailey J. P., Conolly A. P. 1994: Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decr. (Reynoutria japonica Houtt.; Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. & Zucc.). Journal of Ecology 82(4): 959–979.

Beerling D. J., Huntley B., Bailey J. P. 1995: Climate and the distribution of Fallopia japonica: use of an introduced species to test the predictive capacity of response surfaces. Journal of Vegetation Science 6(2): 269–282.

Békésiné Kallenberger H., Bencsik T., Farkas Á., Balogh L., Papp N. 2012: A Fallopia sachalinensis és F. ×bohemica fajok összehasonlító szövettani vizsgálata. In: Papp N. (szerk.) XIV. Magyar Növényanatómiai Szimpózium, 2012.09.28., Pécs, Program és összefoglalók, pp. 45–46.

Békési-Kallenberger H., Papp N., Bencsik T., Balogh L., Horváth Gy. 2013: Ethnopharmacological and phytochemical data of Fallopia species. In: Marculescu A. (ed.) The Vth Symposium of Ethnopharmacology with international participation, 21–23 June 2013, Brasov. Romanian Society of Ethnopharmacology, p. 63.

Bímova K., Mandak B., Pysek P. 2003: Experimental study of vegetative regeneration in four invasive Reynoutria taxa (Polygonaceae). Plant Ecology 166: 1–11.

Borhidi A. 1998: Polygonanae. In: A zárvatermők fejlődéstörténeti rendszertana. Nemzeti Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, p. 178.

Chan M. M-Y. 2002: Antimicrobial effect of resveratrol on dermatophytes and bacterial pathogens of the skin. Biochemical Pharmacology 63(2): 99–104.

Chen H., Tuck T., Ji X., Zhou X., Kelly G., Cuerrier A., Zhang J. 2013: Quality assessment of Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) grown on Prince Edward Island as a source of resveratrol. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 61(26): 6383–6392.  

Chi Y. C., Lin S. P., Hou Y. C. 2012: A new herb-drug interaction of Polygonum cuspidatum, a resveratrol-rich nutraceutical, with carbamazepine in rats. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 263(3): 315–22.

Chiou W. F., Liao J. F., Huang C. Y., Chen C. C. 2010: 2-Methoxystypandrone represses RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis by down-regulating formation of TRAF6-TAK1 signalling complexes. British Journal of Pharmacology 161(2): 32135.

Csiszár Á., Korda M., Schmidt D., Šporčić D., Teleki B., Tiborcz V., Zagyvai G., Bartha D. 2012: Néhány inváziós és potenciálisan inváziós neofiton allelopátiás hatásának vizsgálata. Botanikai Közlemények 99(1–2): 159–171.

Du J., Sun L-N., Xing W-W., Huang B-K., Jia M., Wu J-Z., Zhang H., Qin L-P. 2009: Lipid-lowering effects of polydatin from Polygonum cuspidatum in hyperlipidemic hamsters. Phytomedicine 16: 652–658.

Eid S. Y., El-Readi M. Z., Ashour M. L., Wink M. 2015: Fallopia japonica, a natural modulator, can overcome multidrug resistance in cancer cells. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Article ID 868424, 18.

Fan P., Marston A., Hay A. E., Hostettmann K. 2009: Rapid separation of three glucosylated resveratrol analogues from the invasive plant Polygonum cuspidatum by high-speed countercurrent chromatography. Journal of Separation Science 32 (17): 2979–2984.

Forman J., Kesseli R. V. 2003: Sexual reproduction in the invasive species Fallopia japonica (Polygonaceae). American Journal of Botany 90: 586–592.

Frantík T., Kovářová M, Koblihová H., Bartůňková K., Nývltová Z., Vosátka M. 2013: Production of medically valuable stilbenes and emodin in knotweed. Industrial Crops and Products 50: 237–243.

Gerber E., Krebs C., Murrella C., Morettib M., Rocklinc R., Schaffnera U. 2008: Exotic invasive knotweeds (Fallopia spp.) negatively affect native plant and invertebrate assemblages in European riparian habitats. Biological Conservation 141: 646654.

Grimbsby J. L., Tsirelson D., Gammon M. A., Kesseli R. 2007: Genetic diversity and clonal vs. sexual reproduction in Fallopia spp. (Polygonaceae). American Journal of Botany 94 (6): 957–964.

Hajzerová L., Reif J. 2014: Bird species richness and abundance in riparian vegetation invaded by exotic Reynoutria spp. Biologia 69: 247253.

Hegi G. 1910: Illustrierte Flora von Mittel-Europa. Munich, 3: 189–190.

Hollingsworth M. L., Bailey J. P. 2000: Evidence for massive clonal growth in the invasive weed Fallopia japonica (Japanese Knotweed). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 133: 463–472.

Hromádková Z., Hirsch J., Ebringerová A. 2010: Chemical evaluation of Fallopia species leaves and antioxidant properties of their non-cellulosic polysaccharides. Chemical Papers 64 (5): 663–672.

Huang Q., Lu G., Shen H-M., Chung M. C. M., Ong C. N. 2007: Anti-cancer properties of anthraquinones from rhubarb. Medicinal Research Reviews 27(5): 609–630.

Kim J. Y., Park C.-W. 2000: Morphological and chromosomal variation in Fallopia section Reynoutria (Polygonaceae) in Korea. Brittonia 52(1): 34–48.

Kim K. W., Ha K. T., Park C. S., Jin U. H., Chang H. W., Lee I. S., Kim C. H. 2007: Polygonum cuspidatum, compared with baicalin and berberine, inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 gene expressions in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Vascular Pharmacology 47(2-3): 99107.

Kovárová M., Bartůnková K., Frantík T., Koblihová H., Prchalová K., Vosátka M. 2010: Factors influencing the production of stilbenes by the knotweed, Reynoutria ×bohemica. BMC Plant Biology 10: 19.

Kovárová M., Frantík T., Koblihová H., Bartůňková K., Nývltová Z.,Vosátka M. 2011: Effect of clone selection, nitrogen supply, leaf damage and mycorrhizal fungi on stilbene and emodin production in knotweed. BMC Plant Biology 11: 98.

Liu F., Li F. S., Feng Z. M., Yang Y. N., Jiang J. S., Li L., Zhang P. C. 2015: Neuroprotective naphthalene and flavan derivatives from Polygonum cuspidatum. Phytochemistry 110: 1509.

Marigo G., Pautou G. 1998: Phenology, growth and ecophysiological characteristics of Fallopia sachalinensis. Journal of Vegetation Science 9(3): 379–386.

Mizutani, J. 1996: Plant ecochemicals which may play important roles in complex interactions between higher plants. FWCA Book Abstr. p. 161.

Molnár B. 1991: A japánkeserűfű (Reynoutria japonica Houtt.) fitokémiai vizsgálata. Gyógyszerészdoktori értekezés. Janus Pannonius Tudományegyetem, Pécs, 69 p.

Molnár V. A. 2009: Növények és emberek. Egy szeretetre méltó tudomány története.  Kitaibel Kiadó, Biatorbágy, 200 pp.

Murai Y, Setoguchi H, Kitajima J, Iwashina T. 2015: Altitudinal variation of flavonoid content in the leaves of Fallopia japonica and the needles of Larix kaempferi on Mt. Fuji. Natural Product Communications 10(3): 40711.

Murrell C., Gerber E., Krebs C., Parepa M., Schaffner U., Bossdorf O. 2011: Invasive knotweed affects native plants through allelopathy. American Journal of Botany 98(1): 38–43.

Park C. S., Lee Y. C., Kim J. D., Kim H. M., Kim C. H. 2004: Inhibitory effects of Polygonum cuspidatum water extract (PCWE) and its component resveratrol [correction of rasveratrol] on acyl-coenzyme A-cholesterol acyltransferase activity for cholesteryl ester synthesis in HepG2 cells. Vascular Pharmacology 40(6): 279–84.

Peng W., Qin R., Li X., Zhou H. 2013: Botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and potential application of Polygonum cuspidatum Zucc.: a review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 148(3): 729–45.

Qian G., Leung S. Y., Lu G., Leung K. S. 2008: Optimization and validation of a chromatographic method for the simultaneous quantification of six bioactive compounds in Rhizoma et Radix Polygoni Cuspidati. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 60(1): 10713.

Shen M-Y., Liu Y-J., Don M-J., Liu H-Y., Chen Z-W., Mettling C., Corbeau P., Chiang C-K., Jang Y-S., Li T-H., Young P., Chang C. L. T., Lin Y-L., Yang W-C. 2011: Combined phytochemistry and chemotaxis assays for identification and mechanistic analysis of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals in Fallopia japonica. PLoS ONE 6(11): e27480.

Szabó, L. Gy. 1997: Allelopathy – phytochemical potential – life strategy. JPTE, Pécs, 129 pp.

Tiébré M-S., Bizoux J. P., Hardy O. J., Bailey J. P., Mahy G. 2007: Hybridization and morphogenetic variation in the invasive alien Fallopia (Polygonaceae) complex in Belgium. American Journal of Botany 94(11): 1900–1910.

Tiébré M-S., Vanderhoeven S., Saad L., Mahy G. 2007: Hybridization and sexual reproduction in the invasive alien Fallopia (Polygonaceae) complex in Belgium. Annals of Botany 99(1): 193–203.

Townsend A. 1997: Japanese knotweed: a reputation lost. Arnoldia 57: 13–19.

Wang C., Zhang D., Ma H., Liu J. 2007: Neuroprotective effects of emodin-8-O-beta-D-glucoside in vivo and in vitro. European Journal of Pharmacology 577(1-3): 58–63.

Yi T., Zhang H., Cai Z. 2007: Analysis of Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati by HPLC and HPLC-ESI/MS. Phytochemical Analysis 18(5): 387–392.

Zhang L., Ravipati A. S., Koyyalamudi S. R., Jeong S. C., Reddy N., Bartlett J., Smith P. T., de la Cruz M., Monteiro M. C., Melguizo A., Jiménez E., Vicente F. 2013: Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activities of ethanol extracts of selected traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine 6(9): 673–681.

Zimmermann K., Topp W. 1991: Anpassungserscheinungen von Insekten an Neophyten der Gattung Reynoutria (Polygonaceae) in Zentraleuropa. Zoologische Jahrbücher Systematik 118(3-4): 377–390.